On Friday, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the DACA program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from being deported. The move also requires officials to open the program to new applicants for the first time since 2017.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn instructed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday that states the department will accept and adjudicate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) petitions from immigrants who qualify for the program but are not currently enrolled in it, according to CBS.
In addition, Garaufis also ruled that work permits should last for two years instead of the one year limit that was previously proposed by the Trump administration.
Under the new ruling, it is estimated that at least one million undocumented immigrant teens and young adults will now qualify for DACA and will be able to apply for the program, which will protect them from future deportation.
Karen Tumlin, one of the lawyers representing DACA beneficiaries said that today's ruling was a massive victory.
Fantastic news for the young people who have fought tirelessly for the #DACA program.
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) December 5, 2020
"Today's ruling opens the door for more than one million immigrant youth who have been unfairly denied their chance to apply for DACA and secure their future in this country. Our brave plaintiffs have said from the beginning of this lawsuit that their home is here, and the court rightly recognized that today," Tumlin told CBS News.
In September of 2017, months after entering office, the Trump administration pushed to end the DACA program, arguing that the program represented an overreach of executive authority.
However, several federal courts objected to the move, and earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration violated federal law by attempting to end the program.
BREAKING — US Judge Nicholas Garaufis has ordered the Trump administration to fully restore DACA, instructing DHS to open the Obama-era program to new applicants for the first time since 2017.
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) December 4, 2020
In order to be eligible for the DACA program, the applicant must have no serious criminal convictions, have arrived in the country before the age of 16, and earned a high school diploma, a GED, or serve honorably in the military.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to continue the DACA program.
Research has shown that DACA increased the wages and employment status of DACA-eligible immigrants, and improved the mental health outcomes for DACA participants and their children.
Research also suggests it reduced the number of undocumented immigrant households living in poverty.
There is no evidence to indicate that DACA recipients have higher crime rates than native-born Americans, as most research shows that immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans.
Economists reject that DACA has adverse effects on the U.S. economy or that it adversely affects the labor market outcomes of native-born Americans.
In August 2018, USCIS estimated there were 699,350 active DACA recipients living in the United States.
Immigration researchers estimate the population to be between 690,000 and 800,000 people.